US Defense Secretary Mark Esper promised Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz that the US is committed to maintaining Israel’s military edge as plans move ahead for the US sale of F-35 jets to the United Arab Emirates.
Gantz met with Esper on a visit to Washington on Tuesday as well as with National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley, and presidential adviser Jared Kushner.
“The defense relationship between the United States and Israel has never been stronger: We intend to keep it that way,” Esper told Gantz. “A cornerstone of our defense relationship is preserving Israel’s qualitative military edge in the region.”
“The United States is committed to that, and the Department of Defense is committed to that imperative. We will continue to support the long-standing US priority to maintain Israel’s security.”
The U.S. & Israel enjoy a strong military-to-military relationship as key partners committed to peace & security in the Middle East region 🇺🇸-🇮🇱
— The Joint Staff 🇺🇸 (@thejointstaff) September 23, 2020
Ending a string of meetings in Washington with heads of the US defense establishment, incl. senior advisor to POTUS, @jaredkushner, Defense Secretary @EsperDoD, national security advisor, @robertcobrien and CJCS, Gen.Mark Millley. pic.twitter.com/gSUf2SWZrU
— בני גנץ – Benny Gantz (@gantzbe) September 22, 2020
Further details of the meetings were not published but as YWN reported on Tuesday, Gantz arrived at the meeting equipped with a “shopping list” of options to maintain Israel’s edge in the region.
Gantz is returning to Israel on Thursday morning.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)